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Calhoun Co. sheriff’s motion denied

Anderson’s divorce attorney sues for unpaid legal fees

ROCKWELL CITY — A District Court judge has denied a new motion from Calhoun County Sheriff Scott Anderson to reconsider a March 9 ruling that found him in contempt of court for failing to cooperate with the terms of his divorce settlement.

Court records posted Wednesday also show that Jeffrey Minnich, the attorney who first represented Anderson in the divorce, has filed a small claims lawsuit seeking $3,661 from Anderson for unpaid legal fees and expenses. Minnich is part of Minnich, Comito & Neu, P.C., a Carroll law firm.

Anderson represented himself at his contempt of court hearing, filing subsequent documents with the court on his own, dated March 18.

“The only reason I went to court is because (I thought) there’s no reason I can lose this,” he told The Messenger in a phone call March 10, the day the first story regarding his contempt of court finding was published.

In the motion, Anderson said that the court did not take proof of compliance into consideration before finding him in contempt and ordering him to cooperate with the listing, showing and sale of the marital home he shared with Tracey Layman. The court found in its March 9 ruling that Layman and her attorney had met a burden of proof showing justification for contempt of court.

Anderson also asked the court to reconsider the order making him responsible for $1,000 in Layman’s attorney fees, “since all the requirements had been met prior to the contempt hearing even taking place.”

The court denied both considerations.

With rough printed screenshots of emails between a real estate agent and an online real estate listing, Anderson asked the court to consider the filing “proof of his compliance.” Attached messages from the real estate agent say the home was listed as of March 3.

Anderson said that he has been refused access to remove belongings from the property and that Layman is withholding titles to vehicles awarded in the divorce decree.

In a March 19 order, District Court Judge Adria Kester said the court will treat the new motion as one seeking to reconsider the suspended 10-day jail sentence.

“The court has reviewed the file and determines the sentence imposed is the appropriate sentence,” Kester’s order said, denying the motion. “Nothing in the respondent’s motion changes the court’s determination.”

Responding to a separate request for mediation of disagreement on splitting his Iowa Public Employees Retirement System account, Kester issued a qualified domestic relations order splitting the pension down the middle. Anderson and Layman disagreed on which IPERS option to choose.

Anderson is barred from requesting a refund of the account without Layman’s consent. The IPERS account with an estimated refund value of $200,000 remains intact.

It is unclear as of Monday whether the court found Anderson to be in compliance with the March 9 order.

The incumbent sheriff runs against challenger Pat Riley this year for re-election.

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